New Canton economic development leader plans to tackle community needs

Sept. 28, 2020

This paid piece is sponsored by the Lincoln County Economic Development Association.

Canton’s new head of economic development brings a broad career in the field with a passion for guiding responsible community growth.

Jeffrey Tanner began his role earlier this year as executive director of the Canton Economic Development Corporation after building his career working with local, state and federal government entities.

A Sioux Falls-area native and USD graduate, he was directly mentored by William O. Farber and earned a minor in civic leadership studies from the W.O. Farber Center for Civic Leadership.

That strengthened his passion for local government and economic development and led him to serve in elected and appointed positions, including consultative roles for the city of Englewood, Colo., the state of South Dakota and the federal Department of the Treasury and Office of Personnel Management.

We caught up with Tanner to learn more about his role and what’s new in the growing Lincoln County community.

What attracted to you to this opportunity in Canton?

I have a strong passion for working with local communities seeking responsible growth. While I grew up in the Sioux Falls area and have worked many other places, I have always had a passion for “smaller” communities, specifically in the area of economic development. It’s always been a priority of mine in my varied professional roles working with municipalities, local chambers and development corporations to assist them in their desire to grow.

I have a singular focus on promoting responsible growth opportunities — that is growth that is promoted to meet the needs of a community’s citizenry — growth with a purpose. For instance, the Canton community has a real need for housing within its borders. So I felt a real purpose to accept the position of executive director of the Canton Development Corporation and be a part of growing the community. I am really looking forward to the opportunity to serve.

What kind of year has this been for Canton in terms of business and development activity?

My hope is the community of Canton can take the momentum of a successful public vote approving a new public pool in the community as well as the hiring of an executive director for their economic development corporation and utilize it in seeking housing within the community. Every effort is being made to ensure this happens and that Canton is forward-moving in its economic development efforts.

What are some of your first priorities in your role and for the community?

My first priority is to assist the economic development corporation board in achieving their goal of addressing the housing shortage in Canton. We are keenly aware of the need for additional housing and the reciprocal effect housing development has on business development.

What is Canton missing? 

It is missing housing on multiple levels, including affordable and step-up housing. We want to be able to provide additional multifamily housing for our citizens too.

What would you like to see to help Canton continue to evolve? 

I would like to assist the Canton economic development board in continuing to promote a proactive mind-set committed to responsible growth and open to new opportunities in housing, commercial and industrial growth — when in the best interests of the community.

Looking ahead, what’s next for Canton?  

I think Canton is ready to address its housing needs. I think there is an understanding how being able to accommodate housing needs works “hand in hand” with business development.

What do you anticipate next year might bring?

I anticipate within the next year the Canton community will make strides toward addressing the above-mentioned needs as well as break ground and seek completion on the new pool facility.

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New Canton economic development leader plans to tackle community needs

Canton’s new head of economic development brings a broad career in the field with a passion for guiding responsible community growth.

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